Friday 10 July 2015

The Friars (Squad 2)

Continuing the VBCW theme and most notably the Friars of Aylesford Priory the next squad is completed. I finished the first squad about 8 days ago and blogged them on 2nd July, so not very far to go back and check if you missed them.

Anyway here is another squad done. As mentioned previously the figures are Artizan Design WW2 French troops but painted up to look like British Clergy.

The bottom picture shows them all together and a right religious lot they look to. Following comments on the first squad they all have crosses on the front of the helmets (where appropriate) as I have gone back and added them to all the figures.

As mentioned it is a Battletech day for me at the club on Sunday. I am not sure there will be an AAR as such as it may be too detailed and therefore slow reading but none the less I will try to post something.

All the best have a good weekend and with luck see you online soon.

Cheers Clint

Thursday 9 July 2015

Another Lance of Mechs

Yes a Lance. In Battletech 4 mechs are known as a lance. This is the second time of doing this blog post this morning, having done it once I then pushed the wrong button and accidently deleted the whole lot. Oh well never mind, he says after kicking himself and swearing a bit so here is go 2!

Jagermech: Using a similar design philosophy as the Rifleman, the Jagermech is a 65 ton heavy mech with flip arms able to be effectively used against aircraft. However the Jagermech uses light auto-cannon as opposed to large lasers. With 2 auto cannon in each arm (an AC5 and an AC2) The Jagermech has reduced the heating issue which some Riflemen pilots encountered. In addition to the Auto-cannons the Jagermech also has 2 medium lasers. It has only average speed and no jump capability which again also reduces the heat build up. The down side is that for a heavy mech it is lightly armoured and like the Rifleman is very lightly armoured in the rear torso areas. So only use this mech if accompanied by something which can take a lot of punishment.

While I have never used the mech in a game I can see from it's stats that it has plenty of ammunition and would advise log range shooting as opposed to getting in close as that is where the weak armour will take its toll.

Dervish: One of the largest medium mechs at 55 tons the Dervish is above average in speed, manoeuvrability, and jump capability. It has reasonably strong legs  so can carry out the so called "Death from above" jump attack on smaller mechs IF you have a good pilot. A poor or average mech pilot tends to topple over if attempting this tactic! (I speak from experience!) Most noted for its twin Long range missile systems (2x LRM10s) the Dervish also carries Short range missiles (and lots of ammo for them) and Medium lasers so do not rely on the Lrms to do all the work! The head armour is very slightly weaker than most mechs even those of a lighter displacement but not overly so and all mechs have a vulnerable spot there. Just as well it is the hardest area to hit.

Overall I would say while there is nothing wrong with the Dervish as a mech it does carry to many SRM missiles at the expense of greater armour.

Enforcer: At 50 tons this is a well balanced mech for the weight classification. It is of average speed but does have jump capability so more than capable of out running a mech of average speed and NO jump. One must not rely on jumps of course and the Enforcer does not need to. For weaponry it carries both a large laser and a strong Autocannon (AC10) in addition to a small laser. Some variants and trial variants remove the small laser to get more ammunition to the Autocannon thus doubling the shots to 20. This has lead to problems from ammunition having to travel from the left torso across the body (past the engine) to the right arm so these variants are not common and also do lead to issues. The armour values on the Enforcer are good but not outstanding leading this mech to be used in a variety of roles including "Trooper mech" and barrage. Which makes it popular with many forces and in no way a one trick pony, but a multi role machine.

Generally I would recommend this mech to new players who want to try a bit of everything. And then work out what they want to specialise in even if (Like me) that leads to a jack odf all trades and master of none!)

Trebuchet: Another 50 ton medium mech. Like the Enforcer above this is another main line Medium mech. Unlike the Enforcer this mech has no jump capacity but is slightly faster on the ground. Armed with 3 Medium lasers the Trebuchets main strength comes at long range with two large Long Range Missile systems (LRM 15s). These should be enough to make people want to get close and most likely they will. Another multi-role mech and as such very versatile. The issue with multi role mechs is that you have to find the right pilot for them one who can adapt to the situation and instinctively know when to stay back and when to get close. Armour levels are good but not great so this mech should last a while in most confrontations as many players will try to target specialist mechs. As such this mech does tend to take a beating in a game but generally does manage to survive. Heat with the LRMs tends not to be a big issuse and the mech usually runs lightly on the hot side when at closer ranges or using jumps and firing at the same time. But overall heat is not a major concern.

Again like the Enforcer I would recommend this mech to players at the start until they find their game preferences.

As I will be playing Battletech on Sunday I am not expecting to paint any more mecha until September. All these Mechs cam in the 25th Anaversery box set and are cast in quite nasty plastic, but for the price I can do nothing but recommend the game. It may not suit everyone but I do know it does suit me and I hope I can impart the same level of joy and enthusiasm at the club.

Thanks for reading today and good luck in all you do. Have a good few days and I should have something  VBCW ready for Saturday.

|Cheers Clint

Monday 6 July 2015

VBCW Command group

 2 Command figures for a VBCW Anglican League. These should give the "Friars" the first squad shown 2 days ago a little more "Omph". Obly 2 figures that I grant you and painted for Mat, so after the weekend I will only see them opposite me as I try to kill them.

The figure with the blue beret carries a bible and has the spirit of God and is armed with an SMG just for any who doubt his words. I do not know who makes him but clearly he does mean business.

WHile the figure with the flag is again from Artizan Designs with just a little conversion so he can carry a flag pole. The flag is by Solway and supposed to represent Rochester but living 3 miles away it is not a Flag I have seen before. They may well have done the research or they may have just made it up to fit the VBCW background I just do not know.

All in all the figures were a delight to paint and should make Mat happy. There should be another squad finished before the week end so you can look forward (or not) to that.

That's it for now, all the best Clint

Sunday 5 July 2015


As mentioned earlier in the week I will be playing "Battletech" next weekend so I thought I should paint up a few more mechs (Mecha) just so the guys would not be playing with bare plastic and bare metal. I hasten to point out I have done a very quick paint job, nothing fancy, just slapped paint on.

So here we go!

Rifleman: The Rifleman is a heave Mech at 60 tons and is one of the best well known mechs out there. It is a specialist anti-aircraft platform but well capable of defending itself and battle with other mechs. Typically armed with 2 Large Lasers, 2 Medium Lasers and 2 Light Autocannon (AC5s). Which are the longest pre clan AC' in the game. Only 10 heat sinks so it does tend to run a little hot, but not disastrously so.  The Main drawback (In my opinion) for the 60 ton Rifleman is lack of armour particularly on the back. Given the long range weapons this mech is typically used as fire support. The lack of hands may be considered a drawback by many But that is compensated by it's perceived role and the fact that it can fire it's guns 180 degrees (Vertically) to allow it to track aircraft.

This is a re-paint of one of my older metal mechs (I only had 4-5 metal mechs). As such I feel it will get much use as a proxy!

Hunchback: The Hunchback (my second) is a medium mech of 50 tons yet manages to carry the largect gun in the game and Autocannon 20 (AC20). This give it a distinctive look and for it's medium weight class makes it quite deadly at short range. Along with the AC20 it also carries 2 medium lasers and a small laser. This means that within range  (9 Hexes or 270 meters) everything other than the head mounted  small laser can fire at once! So at the shorter ranges this mech can strip armour from other mechs very effectively. The drawback as hinted at previously is that it has a relatively short range but when it does fire and hit you will know it! No mech is ever perfect and we all have favourites and this mech is rather brutal and usually does not need to carry more than 10 Ac shots to get the job done but it will get shot up while trying to get within effective range.

This plastic mech has a missing right hand, it's a shame to say but I got it in a box set and it came that way. (Oh well).

The Jenner: This is a light mech often used for scouting, Again lacking arms instead armed with weapon pods. It carries 4 Medium lasers and well as a Short Range Missile system (SRM 4) . At 35 tone it is on the larger size for a scout mech but it has a phenomenal speed of 11 when running (5 walking). So going in a straight line while on open terrain means it could travel 11 hexes in a turn. As mentioned above the AC on the Hunchback only has a range of 9 hexes so this really is nippy and is the fastest mech I have ever PERSONALLY piloted. One thing I have yet to mention about this mech is the jump capability. It can use jumpjets as well and they will propel it in any direction across any terrain 5 hexes a turn. (or less if you choose). Given all this speed and jump capability it does lack armour, but as a light mech in a scout role what did we really expect. It is not designed to fight toe to toe with other mechs but will happily take on mechs of it's own weight or lighter.Many weapons variants exist but the weapons listed above are the standard.

Not my favourite mech but I can and do respect it in the right hands. A good mech for the weight.

Grasshopper: A heavy mech of 70 tons this mecha lacks "Serious" firepower for it's weight. With 1 large laser and 4 medium lasers and a small (lrm5) Long Range Missile system for me it lacks "Punch". It is jump capable and does carry a good amount of armour (more than a Warhammer or Marauder or even and Archer all of which have the same weight limit.) The LRM5 does not give it enough long range capacity the large laser helps of course but this mech really does need to get within 9 hexes to inflict much damage at all. The Grasshopper has lots of heat sinks so overheating should never be a problem which means it can run cold and not worry about movement or aiming penalties at least until armour is penetrated.

Again not a fan of this mech from 20 years ago but played by an adult (Physically if not mentally) this mech could be quite useful as it can soak up a lot of damage.

Whitworth: The 40 ton Whitworth is on the lower side of Medium mechs. Which is not to say it's wimpy. It is quite a balanced build and can cause problems. Originally designed as a Scout mech to fill the gap between a Locust and a Phoenix Hawk it's main problem is that it now lacks a distinct on the battlefield. Not a bad mech by any means it has 2 Long range missile (LRM10') systems as well as 3 medium lasers and even jump capability.  The long range weapons are useful but not powerful enough for a stand off mech and the Medium lasers do not do enough damage at short range to make this a close in mech. Some variants replace the LRMs with SRMs which does give it a set role but it is a compromise. It is a good mech when used well but alas that was not something I ever managed to do well in the game. 10 heatsinks means that this can run hot when at close range but not as hot as some mechs get. If using this mech I would stay at long range and use LRMs and then get in close to finish off anything badly damaged by any other mech.  Not a bad all round mech but on the light side for a medium mech and it lacks an obvious use.

Catapult: a 65 tom heavy mech with some notable long range capabilities. Each arm carries a LONG range Missile system (LRM15) while the torso carries 4 medium lasers. Some varients exist with the LRMs stripped out and Phase Partial Cannons (PPCs) retrofitted but this can lead to heat problems and I believe the LRMs are better in this particular mech. The medium lasers are for close support and the mech does have a role in the secondary defensive line with some (but) limited offensive capability. On a one to one bases this mecha is very good at dealing long range damage sufficient enough to worry most mech of a similar size and hopefully weaken an opponent enough for the medium lasers at closer range.  It does have some jump capability so is capable of intricate manoeuvres through difficult terrain so will keep up with most (non scout) mechs. Like all mechs it does depend on how it is used but generally it is quite balanced.

All the comments are my personal views and experiences and it does depend on how you and your opponents do play. So if your experiences differ I will not be at all surprised. My main Mech was a Griffin for example so all my comments come from that background.

Not the best mechs in the world, but better than none at all. Thanks for looking and I hope you are having a really great weekend. \All the best Clint